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Edit fields with contingent values

Contingent values, also known as contingent attribute values, allow you to choose from an additionally filtered list of valid values. Attribute domains provide one level of filtering, and contingent values further reduce the number of valid field inputs by applying constraints that make values in one field dependent on values in another. The dependencies set up through contingent values promote values that meet a specification by improving data entry accuracy and reducing post-editing quality assurance.

See the steps about how to prepare your data for more information on creating contingent values on a table or feature class.

Edit contingent values

Tables that contain contingent value definitions will automatically filter the values shown when you edit their cell values. Valid attribute combinations will be promoted to the top of the list so they are easier to identify and select.

To edit contingent values in a table view, do the following:

  1. Double-click inside the cell to start editing.
  2. Click the drop-down list to see the values to choose from. Depending on the matches available, you may see:
    • Full matches—these are the values at the top of the list that satisfy a valid combination with all other contingent value fields from this row.
    • Partial matches— If partial matches exist, point to Partial Matches to open the list, which is grouped according to matched fields.Partial matches are still valid combinations but with a subset of the contingent value fields for this row.
  3. Choose a full match by clicking a value in the top of the list to set it for the cell.

    A full match ensures the row is set to a valid combination.

  4. Optionally choose a partial match by clicking a value from the sub-list. menu to set it for the cell.

    A partial match will not set a valid combination for the row, and additional cell edits will be required.

  5. Click Show All at the bottom of the list if you need to move to a completely different combination of values. All values in the attribute domain for the field will be listed.

    Choosing a nonmatching value will set an invalid combination for the row, and additional cell edits will be required.

Workflow tips for editing contingent values

While editing contingent values, the following tips may be helpful to your workflow:

  • Invalid combinations are highlighted in yellow until a valid one is entered.
  • Individual feature edits cannot be completed if a feature contains an invalid contingent value combination.
  • You can apply contingent values in any field order. After one field is defined, subsequent choices for remaining fields are filtered based on the valid combinations defined for the data.
  • Click the Menu button Menu and click Only show Contingent Value fields to show all fields that have contingent values defined and hide all other fields. This makes it easier to identify the set of fields that are co-dependent. If the table does not contain contingent values, the filter is not enabled.